Tony Writes: Musician pens new chapter with first book and one man show

From his time in And So I Watch You From Afar to touring as a solo artist, Tony Wright is taking to the stage like never before with tales from 20 years in the business

Northern Ireland musician Tony Wright is taking his new show and book Chapter and Verse (ChorusVerse) on the road (beginning with an opening night at the MAC, as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival on October 17) for an evening of music and tales from the frontlines, as seen through the eyes of a honest musician on the road.

Wright is 20 years – man and boy - into a remarkable music career. From being courted by big labels at the age of 15 to conquering the DIY scene in his late twenties with instrumental rockers And So I Watch You From Afar, and a hugely varied solo career including his latest acclaimed musical incarnation VerseChorusVerse, Tony has seen the world and can't decide whether he is richer or poorer for it.  

With the keen eye of a documentary maker, the 2018 NI Music Prize nominee (for Best Album) takes audiences through the highest of highs and the most despairing of lows that make up his 'pretty weird life' so far.

Part spoken word, part musical, part sheer theatre, Chapter and Verse(ChorusVerse) is described as a show full of warmth, human frailty and hilarity. Wright invites us to join him on his journey soul searching on the highways of the USA, and the unforgettable characters he meets along the way. Plus there’s the odd misunderstanding with members of Green Day and Metallica, all the while the author asks himself the ultimate question: 'Why do any of us do this?'.

Recently Wright adapted an excerpt titled 'The Jukebox Incident' for BBC Northern Ireland. The short film, directed by Colm Laverty, follows Wright's recurring role in the music-based comedy web series The Also Rans. Conceived by Belfast singer-songwriter Son of the Hound (Mick McCullagh) as a clever companion piece to a song of the same name, the series follows the trials and tribulations of two 30-something musicians giving once last go at making it big. Its six independently produced episodes have drawn much acclaim online, highlighting the strength of its writing in particular. The entire series can be watched here.

Meanwhile, Wright has already recorded his third album, having charted at number one on the Amazon Blues Charts with Say & Do, a joint release with MOBO-nominated jazz powerhouse David Lyttle. The album also made it to 19 in the UK Album Charts, while back on screen the multi-talented North Coast native made his feature film debut with an appearance in 2018's Trautmann.

Wright has spent the summer months as Artist-in Residence at the MAC, where Chapter and Verse (ChorusVerse) will open on October 17, as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival. He then tours the show across Northern Ireland with stops at the Waterside Theatre, Derry~Londonderry (November 2), Seamus Heaney HomePlace (November 4), Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey (November 8), Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick (November 9), Riverside Theatre, Coleraine (November 10), Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry (November 22), Island Arts Centre, Lisburn (November 23) and then in 2019 the Market Place Theatre, Armagh (February 1).

Chapter and Verse(ChorusVerse) the book is due for release later this year, while tickets for the 'thought provoking, funny and startlingly honest' stage show ('with a killer soundtrack to boot!') at the MAC are available at https://themaclive.com/event/chapter-versechorusverse.